2020 Year-End Residential Real Estate Update with 2021 Outlook
The national and local housing market in 2020 proved to be incredibly resilient, ending the year on a high note. Home sales ended at the best rate in fourteen years and provided one of the few bright spots for a United States economy mired in a global pandemic. For all of 2020:
- US sales rose to 6.48 million, the highest level since 2006 at the height of the housing boom, and up from 5.34 million previously owned homes sold in 2019.
- Median sales prices nationally were also up 12.9% from a year-ago.
- Locally, single-family home prices were up 9.3% compared to last year, and Townhouse-Condo home prices were up 10.5%.
- December, which is normally one of the slower months of the year, showed strong buyer demand, buoyed by near-record low interest rates--despite a new wave of Covid-19 infections and a softening job market.
- Pending sales were up 25.7% and inventory levels fell 46.9% to 4,549 units.
- Nationally and locally, new construction and builder activity was robust though lumber prices were dramatically higher, which increased the costs of new construction substantially.
- Despite this activity, new construction supply dropped locally from 4.8 months to 1.6 months.
As we look to 2021, unchanged (and very low interest rates) coupled with strong buyer demand and tight inventory suggest that new listings will get multiple offers and higher prices. In several cases in the Ponte Vedra area we have already seen multiple full-price offers on the first listing day—and even cases where the homes never actively come on the market. Having a well-positioned and knowledgeable broker/agent is likely to be a greater asset than ever with inventory in the Ponte Vedra Beach area (and south) down 59.2% and even lower in St Johns County (NE) and Ponte Vedra Beach, Nocatee.
In the over $800,000, 32082 zip code market, the median price is now $1,235,000, up 6.5% year-over-year. Inventory is down 50%, and days on the market are down by 62.5%, with the average being 38 days. Larger homes are clearly back in demand, as are living spaces that feature multiple-bedrooms and work areas. As with other properties at the beaches, sales have been close to asking prices, with sellers feeling little pressure to consider low side offers.
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